CDD advocates for standardised procedure for correcting errors in election results

The Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) is advocating for a standardised procedure for correction of errors in election results as a proactive measure to prevent confusion at polling stations and collation centers.

This, according to the Center, is the way to go as we strive to improve the electoral process in our quest for credible and violent-free elections.

Dr. Kojo Pumpuni Asante, Director of Advocacy and Policy Engagement, CDD-Ghana, who made the call said there was currently no law in the electoral process for how to correct mistakes.

He said the situation gave room for election officials to use their own discretion to rectify mistakes, thereby creating a lot of confusion.

He was speaking at a public dialogue on electoral reforms in Kumasi as part of a project aimed at promoting the implementation of electoral reforms to enhance the credibility and transparency of election 2024.

With funding from the European Union, CDD-Ghana is seeking to further consolidate the gains of electoral
reforms over the years by providing a platform for stakeholders to address outstanding gaps to improve the process.

It was attended by participants drawn from political parties, civil society organisations, National Peace Council, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), youth groups, and the media, among others.

Dr. Asante said errors were bound to happen during the collation of results and stressed the need to standardise the process of correcting them so that when it happens at any polling station, officials would follow a common procedure to rectify the error.

‘That can be done by the Electoral Commission at its own level in terms of issuing directives as to how errors should be handled so that all the stakeholders will know the procedure when an error happens,’ he submitted.

He said the quality of elections in Ghana had improved over the years through electoral reforms occasioned by gaps identified after every election, and the goal was to continue improving the electoral process.

‘If electio
ns are credible, it benefits all of us so see yourself as a citizen first whether as a media person, party representative or any other stakeholder,’ he reminded the participants.

He said elections could be expensive but the principle that everybody in that society could have a say in who governs them could not be underestimated.

Elections in relation to democracy, according to him, are like lubricants to cars, saying that without credible elections leaders could not be chosen to govern which could lead to political crisis.

‘We must constantly improve to serve the principles that it represents which are universal adult suffrage, the right of association, fair competition, free speech, transparency, and integrity,’ he noted.

He applauded the Electoral Commission (EC) for being proactive in recent times and urged them to continue to engage all stakeholders in the implementation of reforms for the collective good of the country.

Dr. Asante walked the participants through the history of electoral reforms sinc
e the 1992 election and the progress made so far while underlining the need to address outstanding gaps to ensure credible and transparent elections.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Don’t engage in vote-buying, NCCE advises electorate

The Accra Metro Office of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) has cautioned eligible voters not to engage in vote-buying during the upcoming general elections.

Mr. Stanley Quaynor, the Accra Metro Director of the NCCE, interacting with the Ghana News Agency on its activities for the observation of the 2024 Constitution Week Celebration, said a number of the electorate they had engaged indicated that they would collect monies given to them by politicians to vote for them. 

He was briefing the GNA on an engagement programme his outfit had with 20 identifiable groups in the 1992 Constitution.

The theme for the Constitution Week celebration was ‘Together We Can Build Ghana, So Get Involved.’

Mr. Quaynor explained that the electorate said they would collect the monies because they were public funds that belonged to all Ghanaians.

He, however, cautioned them against such acts, explaining that it was unlawful for politicians to buy votes and citizens to sell their votes.

He referred those interes
ted in selling and buying votes to the Representation of the People Law 1992 (PNDCL 284), which forbids vote-buying. 

He said among those that NCCE interacted with were political parties, security agencies, educational institutions, trade associations, drivers’ unions, and other identifiable groups.

He said some members of these identifiable groups also called for the amendment of the 1992 Constitution to reduce the current powers of the president, which they indicated was too much.

Touching on the celebration, he said Constitutional Week was introduced in 2001 by the NCCE to remind Ghanaians and the security agencies of Ghana’s decision to return to constitutional democracy in 1992 and to solicit their resolve to defend the 1992 Constitution from all forms of abuse and violation.

Mr. Quaynor highlighted the duties of citizens as enshrined in Article 41 of the Constitution.

He added that the need for peaceful elections, non-violence, political and religious tolerance, and the menace of disinformation, mi
sinformation, and fake news were touched on during the engagement with the groups.

He also called for the promotion of the participation of women and other marginal groups, such as persons with disabilities in holding political positions.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Credible polls remain surest way to sustain national peace – parliamentary candidate

Mr Saed Mubarak, the Election 2024 Parliamentary Candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Sunyani East Constituency at the weekend said free, fair, and credible Election 2024 remains the surest way to sustain the prevailing national peace and tranquility.

He emphasised that the NDC was only ready to accept the outcome of a transparent and credible poll, and therefore, called on election stakeholders to contribute to that regard.

‘I think as we preach peace, it’s imperative we preach justice as well because the NDC is not in any position to accept tainted election results,’ Mr Mubarak told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview in Sunyani.

The NDC parliamentary candidate had earlier joined hundreds of residents in a clean-up exercise organised by the Sunyani Traditional Council on Saturday to keep the city clean.

Mr Mubarak said everybody cherished and desired that the prevailing peace of the nation was strengthened, however, that could possibly be achieved, only if the December 7 po
lls were conducted devoid of rigging.

 He emphasized that as major election stakeholders, personnel of the Electoral Commission ought to ensure that they exhibited their constitutional duties independently, and in diligence, devoid of political biases.

 Mr Mubarak said until the EC remained neutral, independent, and highly professional as a ‘referee’ the General Election would not be conducted peacefully.

 That notwithstanding, the NDC parliamentary candidate advised everybody to be interested in the electoral process so that ‘together, we will produce election results acceptable to the satisfaction of all stakeholders’ to safeguard the prevailing peace of the nation.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Delta Air Lines, JA Ghana organise ‘Design Thinking’ training for university students?

Delta Air Lines in partnership with Junior Achievement (JA) Ghana, has organised its third annual Delta Innovation Camp with a focus on training students in the concept of ‘Design Thinking’ at the Academic City University College campus in Accra.

The students totaling 51 and selected from 11 public and private universities were taken through a one-day training session in ‘Design Thinking’ to enable them create solutions for everyday problems.

The Universities were Academic City University College, University of Ghana, Ghana Christian University College, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology , Knutsford University College, and University of Education, Winneba.

The rest were University of Professional Studies Accra, Ghana Communication Technology University, Datalink University, Accra Technical University and Ashesi University.

The concept of ‘Design Thinking’ is a contemporary framework for solving problems by trying to understand the problem from the perspective of the end user and developing
solutions along their needs and feelings.

The students were grouped into eight groups and came out with a design thinking modules on environmental sustainability and impact in the aviation space.

Madam Eloina Baddoo, GSA Manager at Delta Air Lines, said the Company was dedicated to giving back through initiatives like the Camp to empower the next generation of business leaders and workforce. 

She said they were providing a platform for young minds to unleash their creativity and learn design thinking, which would in the long term shape the future of Ghana’s socioeconomic and sustainable development.

‘This is our way of providing a platform for the next generation of business leaders and workforce to freely express and explore their creative abilities and also learn skills and build competencies to make them well-equipped for the future,’ she stressed.

Mr Abeiku Greene, Executive Director of JA Ghana, a non-governmental organisation, said it was important for the learners to be trained in design thinking
so that they could apply it in real life situations wherever they found themselves.

Mr Greene said the problems of the world today were more complex, and it needed people who were innovative and creative in their thinking to excel.

Source: Ghana News Agency

We are making strides in building 21st century schools – Education Minister?

Dr Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister of Education, says the government is investing in state-of-the-art school infrastructure to meet the needs of 21st century learning.

These projects, the Minister said, would revolutionise the country’s educational space and make it fit for purpose.

The Minister said this in Accra during this year’s International Educators Summit at the International Community School, Accra Campus.

It is on the theme ‘ Reimagining Education for the Future We Seek: Africa and the World in Dialogue.’ organised by the Ghana Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD).

Dr Adutwum said the Juaben model of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Senior High School (SHS), the Sunyani model of STEM SHS, and others are ongoing and due for completion soon.

He said the Accra STEM School, from kindergarten to the SHS level, was already completed and ready to be opened in September 2024.

The Minister said the government had made investments in renovating schools like Kumasi Hi
gh School and Aflao Community SHS with modern educational facilities to improve learning outcomes.

The government has selected 12 SHS schools to offer aviation and aerospace courses to increase STEM education in the country.

‘We need to teach assertive school children to be confident and express themselves without fear. The school heads must create a congenial school environment for the pupils to ask questions in class instead of being intimidated,’ he said.

He commended the organisers for the Summit, saying the event was a catalyst for change through which ideas were nurtured.

Mr Yaw Osafo Marfo, Senior Presidential Adviser, said education must play a meaningful role in addressing a problem.

‘We need to think about education to solve problems like sanitation and flooding, among others,’ he said.

Dr Patrick Awuah, Founder of Ashesi University, underscored the importance of inculcating good values in students to succeed.

‘Integrity and performance are highly integrated. Our students do not see cheating
as a pathway to success,’ he said.

Dr Charles Yeboah, Executive Director, Ghana ASCD, said the Summit was to address challenges in the education sector and explore new frontiers of educational technology.

He said since its inception in 2017, Ghana ASCD had been hosting educational conferences tailored for teachers, school administrators to enhance education in the country.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Newmont breaks ground for new building for Akyem Vocational Institute

The Newmont Foundation, under the auspices of Newmont Mining Company, has broken ground on the construction of a new two-story building for the Akyem Vocational and Technical Institute at Yaayaso in the Birim North District.

The Akyem Vocational and Technical Institute (AVTI) has been operating with over 320 students who attend school for free, courtesy of the Newmont Foundation’s sponsorship.

At the ground-breaking ceremony, Mr. Charles Bissue, General Manager of Newmont Akyem Mine, stated that the event marked the beginning of several pivotal projects that would have a significant impact on local communities.

Mr. Bissue announced that Newmont had committed over 10 million Ghana cedis towards the construction of the Akyem Vocational and Technical Institute (AVTI), teachers’ bungalows, and other facilities.

‘These are a testament to our unwavering support and commitment of creating value and enhancing life through sustainable and responsible mining practice,’ he noted.

He described the project as a susta
inable investment that would fund 17 transformative projects aimed at elevating the quality and delivery of education within their host communities. 

‘I’m eagerly anticipating collaborating with all stakeholders on these immense projects and look forward to celebrating the success completion during the commissioning,’ he said.

Mr. Paul Apenu, Newmont Akyem Development Foundation Executive Secretary, said the project comprised the construction of a two-story and 24-unit classroom block, and other facilities for AVTI.

According to him, the classroom block will help the community expand their programmes of study to include fashion and catering to encourage more women to participate and enrol in the AVTI. 

‘We are encouraged to celebrate this milestone due to the fact that it is a single moment where we have assembled quite a number of projects to undertake a go,’ he added.

He also said the project was crucial to ensure there were enough classrooms to accommodate more students in the school, particularly you
ng women.

‘Even though labour studies indicate that more females are interested in catering and fashion programmes, we continue to encourage them so that they can also take the male-dominated programmes,’ he said.

He urged contractors to demonstrate professionalism in the construction of the project because ‘no cut and paste edit project will be countenance.’ 

Chief of Adausena, Nana Dr. Boni Abankro V, said he was happy about the state-of-the-art project, adding that the fabric of every community was education.

He urged Newmont to leave legacies in their host communities by investing in education, stressing, ‘Those who built houses in Tarkwa, Obuasi, couldn’t complete their building when the mining went down.

‘But those who invested in their children’s education, the kids came back to complete their projects for them, so if you’ve got anything for us, put in this project.’

Source: Ghana News Agency

Service personnel advised to embrace Agribusiness as viable alternative to youth unemployment

Members of the National Service Personnel Association (NASPA) have been advised to embrace agribusiness as a viable alternative to finding sustainable jobs.

They should not be fixated on finding office jobs when there are vast opportunities to explore in the agricultural sector to earn decent incomes.

Oheneba Yaw Sarpong Siriboe, the 2022 National Best Farmer who gave the advice, said deliberate efforts to get the youth to embrace agribusiness was the to go as a country determined to address youth unemployment.

He was speaking at a youth development seminar organised by the Christian Service University (CSU) in partnership with National Service Scheme (NSS) and NASPA as part of activities marking the 50th anniversary of CSU.

The theme for the seminar was: ‘Life after National Service: What Possibilities?’ and the goal was to offer practical solutions to the problem of unemployment beyond the mandatory national service.

Oheneba Yaw Siriboe argued that the problem of youth unemployment is real and pervasiv
e in the Ghanaian society, citing statistics from credible government and international sources to back his argument.

He observed that the challenge of unemployment among the youth required urgent attention not only from the government but industry and academia as well.

He therefore commended the University for putting together such a programme to shape the perspectives of the NASPA members particularly as they prepare to exit the mandatory one-year national service.

As a successful agro-entrepreneur, he urged the youth to embrace sustainable agribusiness to transform their economic circumstances, reminding them that university education only provides the platform for individual to ‘fit’ into the world.

He further argued that irrespective of the programme one offered at the university, it could serve as a springboard to conceptualise to principle to generate wealth through agribusiness.

He explained that his background as a mechanical engineer had greatly impacted his agribusiness adding that irrespectiv
e of one’s first-degree specialisation, venturing into agribusiness will not be a problem.

Rt. Rev. Prof. Osei Safo-Kantanka, a Former Council Chair of CSU, alluded to his academic background as an agronomist from first degree to professorial level to support the claims made by Oheneba Yaw Siriboe.

He particularly supported the call to embrace agribusiness with the enormous benefits it comes with.

He challenged the youth to consciously deal with what he described as ‘entitlement mentality and dependency syndrome’ that had been the bane of the economic emancipation of Ghanaian youth.

According to him, the sad and debilitating story has been that most youth of productive and creative age only saw life through the lenses of ‘white collar jobs.’

While admitting that governments must create employment opportunities for the youth, he was also of the firm believe that the youth must create their own destinies without over relying on stop gap interventions that have been witnessed under successive governments un
der the Fourth Republic.

Mr. Prince Kankam Boadu, the Ashanti Regional Director of NSS, expressed appreciation to the CSU for such a timely initiative which was in line with NSS’s commitment of preparing the youth for successful transition from national service to the job market.

He commended the guest speakers for providing practical solutions to navigate the job market and explore entrepreneurial ventures.

He urged the participants to reflect on the values and the skills they have acquired to impact their personal and professional lives.

Ms. Yaa Tweneboah Opoku Bandoh, the Ashanti Regional President of NASPA, applauded CSU for putting together the laudable initiative and hoped that the lessons learnt would be implemented beyond the forum.

She urged her colleagues to develop positive attitudes towards such programmes to equip themselves for life beyond national service.

Ms Tweneboah Opoku Bandoh asked them to be responsive to the changing dynamics and embrace opportunities that would earn them a living
in a fast-changing work environment.

Source: Ghana News Agency

Teacher implements project to advance reading among rural children

Ms Salomey Kwabea Agyei, a-37-year-old teacher in the Jaman North Municipality of Bono Region has launched a project to advance lifelong reading among vulnerable children in rural communities.

Ms Agyei, an English teacher at the Kofiko M/A Junior High School in the Municipality spotlighted the Bono Region in the international scene, when she attempted to break the World Longest Reading Marathon Record.

Through her Readspell Literacy Foundation, she told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) in an interview in Sunyani on the side-lines of the launch that the project would further seek support and build community libraries, and standard ICT centres in deprived communities.

As the world turned into a global village and advanced through ICT, Ms Agyei reiterated the need to ensure vulnerable and children in deprived communities, regardless of their background, were not left out, but also access computers and other smart gadgets to interact in the digital space.

The project would collaborate with key stakeholders, includ
ing the Ghana Library Authority (GLA) to ensure that the project beneficiary children also access recommendable reading books and spelling bees, and workshops for teachers to promote literacy and lifelong learning.

‘We are determined to build community libraries and ICT centres to ensure access to educational resources,’ she stated.

The project is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of quality education, gender equality, reduced inequalities, and partnerships for the global goals.

She called for support from multi-national and mining firms, philanthropists, NGOs, United Nations-based agencies, and organizations as well as religious and corporate bodies to support the project.

‘The project is dedicated to making reading interesting, easy and accessible for every Ghanaian child, particularly those in rural communities,’ Ms Agyei stated.

Source: Ghana News Agency